2013-02-21 / Front Page

Train hits machine on tracks

Snowmobiler gets skis stuck on tracks, able to escape train


A northbound train struck a snowmobile at the North Houghton Avenue crossing Tuesday. 
Pioneer Tribune photo A northbound train struck a snowmobile at the North Houghton Avenue crossing Tuesday. Pioneer Tribune photo MANISTIQUE – No one was injured when a train struck a snowmobile at the North Houghton Avenue crossing Tuesday afternoon. The snowmobiler was attempting to free the machine after its skis had become stuck on the railroad tracks, according to local law enforcement.

Officers from Manistique Public Safety responded to the scene of the Canadian National train and snowmobile accident at approximately 3:30 p.m. Upon arriving on the scene, the snowmobile’s driver, Alan Hershberger, 64, of New Port Richey, Fla., explained the ski had become caught in the switch of the railroad tracks as he was attempted to turn it around.

According to Hershberger, he had been snowmobiling with a group when one of its members became disoriented by whiteout conditions and mistakenly traveled down the railroad tracks instead of the trail. In assisting the lost member, Hershberger got his own machine stuck, but was able to step away from the machine as an oncoming train approached.

The train struck the snowmobile and pushed the machine approximately 1,500 feet before coming to a stop. The snowmobile became entangled under the engine, causing a delay in clearing the trail crossings. There were no injuries reported and no damage caused to the train, which was able to continue to the north.

Manistique Public Safety was assisted at the scene by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

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